1 May 2017 — 0810 mdt
Will the “Tu QuoQue, Gianforte,” strategy
negate attacks on Quist’s personal finances?
Republican attacks ads featuring Democratic candidate Rob Quist’s untidy personal finances are doing considerable damage to Quist. He cannot change his past, but he can argue that Greg Gianforte’s finances are just as untidy, thereby inviting voters to conclude that Quist’s and Gianforte’s sins negate each other. That’s why Quist’s campaign is pushing the preposterous notion that Gianforte’s Russian financial assets make him a security risk and may violate sanctions against Russia.
Gianforte is telling Quist, “Your finances stink,” and Quist is retorting, “Yours don’t smell so sweet, either.” Gianforte is accusing Quist of irresponsibility. Quist is accusing Gianforte of hypocrisy, and hinting that two wrongs make a right.
Politically, this might work. Although the “you’re another” comeback, the tu quoque fallacy, is an argument that’s quickly shredded in formal debates, it can be a powerful response in the real world.
Quist, as noted at Logicosity this morning, is not gaining traction. Time is running out. Absentee ballots are in the mail. Voting begins this week. Praying is not enough. That’s why Quist’s throwing a Hail Mary pass to drag the receiver and defender down in the mud.